Sustainable furnishings groups develop Circular Design Glossary for home furnishings industry

HIGH POINT — Sustainable furnishings organizations Mebl I Transforming Furniture and the Sustainable Furnishings Council have launched an e-publication meant to help educate the industry and the general public about how design practices in the circular economy relate to the home furnishings industry.

According to circular design specialist the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, the circular economy has three major principles driven by design: Eliminating waste and pollution; circulating products and materials at their highest value and regenerating nature. All these principles are supported by a transition to renewable energy and materials.

Completed in cooperation with circular design consultancy firm SOMA_studiomilano, “Circular Design Glossary: Furniture and Furnishings” is a resource that features:

+ 40+ circular design concepts, case studies and photographs

+ Innovative furniture & furnishings companies 

+ A director of emerging and established designers 

+ Insights, inspiration and concrete applications for practitioners

“There’s a lot of power in shared language when creating change,” said SFC Executive Director Scarlette Tapp. “So we developed this glossary to support industry players in taking their first – or next – step towards a sustainable and circular future.”

“We’ve selected tangible, inspiring circular design applications  – from sofas to tables to lighting – that illustrate real-life solutions to today’s problematic linear ‘take-make-waste’ way of living,” added mebl’s  founder and CEO Michael Hirschhorn. 

The publication is being launched in conjunction with Climate Week NYC, which brings together business, government, the United Nations and key figures in the environmental movement to support climate action. Specifically, the glossary identifies circular design as a key solution to climate-related problems emerging from the furniture and furnishings industry.

Officials also noted that the guide also provides a reference point for professionals in the furniture & furnishings industries — “from designers to product-line managers to the C-suite. New and emerging circular trends highlighted in the glossary are also highly relevant to interior designers, retailers and media managers, as well as to marketing, sales and transportation professionals.”

“The Circular Glossary provides the kind of education that motivates,” notes Gat Caperton,  founder and CEO of case goods manufacturer Gat Creek, a long-time member of the SFC. “Our factory came to life in the 1970s repairing and making reproductions of antique furniture. So it is wildly encouraging to learn in the glossary about how contemporary “reuse” and modern “antique stores” are bringing better and more accessible furniture into the marketplace. The glossary will motivate many companies toward further action on sustainability.”

“The Glossary shares a wealth of concrete examples for furniture companies interested in shifting from a linear to a circular economy,” added Emily McGarvey, director of sustainability, Room & Board. “Common understanding inspires more actionable conversations. In this way, the glossary offers shared language along with clear illustrations that will help move Room & Board’s sustainability efforts forward as we collaborate and learn together.”

The glossary will be available for free download starting September 21, 2022 on the websites of mebl | Transforming Furniture and the Sustainable Furnishings Council. Click here for more information.

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